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The influence of substrate C: N ratios on heat generation during the composting process of sewage sludge

Author(s):Piotr Sołowieja, Maciej Neugebauera, Jacek Dachb, Wojciech Czekałab,
Damian Janczakb
aUniwersity of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 2, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland
bPoznan University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 50, 60-637, Poland
International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy, vol. 6, no. 1, January 2017: pp. 61-66
ISSN: 2315-4462 (Print)
ISSN: 2373-3594 (Online)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.12720/sgce.6.1.61-66

Abstract: The volume of sewage sludge generated in Poland has increased significantly in the last two decades due to the construction of new wastewater treatment plants and the upgrading of the existing facilities. Composting is a highly effective method of managing sewage sludge. Sewage sludge has specific physicochemical properties, and it has to be combined with bulking agents to improve the porosity and the C: N ratio of the composted substrate. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between heat generation during composting and the C: N ratio of substrates composted under identical aeration conditions. The experiment was performed on four batches of sewage sludge combined in different proportions with wheat straw and sawdust with different C: N ratios. Gas emissions (CH4, CO2, NH3, H2S) were registered during the composting process, and the amount of heat generated by the composted substrates was calculated. The experiment was conducted in a laboratory system which supported the determination of the amount of generated heat. Heat generation was correlated with the C: N ratio of the composted substrate.

Keywords: Energetic efficiency; composting; sewage sludge

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